Whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci)
They suck plant sap and excrete honeydew where moulds grow, which may affect plant growth and vigour. The tobacco whitefly is considered a major pest due to its ability to vector various virus diseases, which cause considerable damage to watermelons and other cucurbits.
- Conserve natural enemies. Parasitic wasps are important in natural control of whiteflies
- Use reflective mulches. Reflective mulch repels whitefly adults resulting in delayed and reduced attack by this pest with consequent reduction in damage as shown in experiments in USA. (Summers & Stapleton 2002)
- Whenever necessary spray crop with neem products. Neem-based pesticides are reported to inhibit growth and development of immature stages, and to reduce egg laying by adult whiteflies